The Insecure American

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  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2009-11-24
  • Publisher: Univ of California Pr

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Americans are feeling insecure. They are retreating to gated communities in record numbers, fearing for their jobs and their 401(k)s, nervous about their health insurance and their debt levels, worrying about terrorist attacks and immigrants. In this innovative volume, editors Hugh Gusterson and Catherine Besteman gather essays from nineteen leading ethnographers to create a unique portrait of an anxious country and to furnish valuable insights into the nation's possible future. With an incisive foreword by Barbara Ehrenreich, the contributors draw on their deep knowledge of different facets of American life to map the impact of the new economy, the "war on terror," the "war on drugs," racial resentments, a fraying safety net, undocumented immigration, a health care system in crisis, and much more. In laying out a range of views on the forces that unsettle us,The Insecure Americandemonstrates the singular power of an anthropological perspective for grasping the impact of corporate profit on democratic life, charting the links between policy and vulnerability, and envisioning alternatives to life as an insecure American.

Author Biography

Hugh Gusterson is Professor of Anthropology at George Mason University. He is the author of Nuclear Rites and coeditor (with Besteman) of why America's Top Pundits Are Wrong, both from UC Press. Catherine Besteman is Professor of Anthropology at Colby College and the author of Transforming Cape Town (UC press).

Table of Contents

Forewordp. ix
Introductionp. 1
Fortress America
A Nation of Gated Communitiesp. 27
Warmaking as the American Way of Lifep. 45
Republic of Fear: The Rise of Punitive Governance in Americap. 63
The New Economy
Neoliberalism, or The Bureaucratization of the Worldp. 79
The Age of Wal-Martp. 97
Deindustrializing Chicago: A Daughter's Storyp. 113
Racism, Risk, and the New Color of Dirty Jobsp. 140
Insecurity as a Profit Center
Normal Insecurities, Healthy Insecuritiesp. 163
Cultivating Insecurity: How Marketers Are Commercializing Childhoodp. 182
The Most Vulnerable
Uneasy Streetp. 207
Body and Soul: Profits from Povertyp. 224
Useless Suffering: The War on Homeless Drug Addictsp. 238
Walling Out Immigrantsp. 255
Insecurity and Terror
Compounding Insecurity: What the Neocon Core Reveals about America Todayp. 273
Deploying Law as a Weapon in America's War on Terrorp. 292
Insecurities of Body and Spirit
Death and Dying in Anxious Americap. 317
Get Religionp. 345
List of Contributorsp. 362
Indexp. 367
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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